I never would have guessed that I’d be spending the majority of my free time in November 2016 playing 2012’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf. But, as I’m sure most of you are aware, a big update to the game came out a little under two weeks ago, and suddenly it’s become part of my daily routine again. The funny thing about it, is that although the update did add substantial content, most of what I’ve been doing I could have been doing the whole time.The most obvious addition to the game is the inclusion of Amiibo support. This was really exciting to me, as I love Amiibo and own some of the Animal Crossing series, but there’s never been a great use for them yet. Now, finally, I can tap my Tom Nook Amiibo into a game and get something other than a costume in Mario Maker.
And yes, I know Amiibo Festival and Happy Home Designer both were compatible with Amiibo, but I don’t own those games or have any real interest in them. So, yeah.
Wanting to unlock Amiibo support resulting in me playing a lot of Animal Crossing the day that the update went live. Unfortunately, no matter how much I played, I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. I finally broke down and Googled it. Turns out, it unlocks the day after you start playing the update. Well, at least I caught a whole lot of fish and bugs and raised a bunch of money.
The actual process of unlocking the Amiibo support is super simple. On the second day of playing with the update, you’ll just kind of stumble onto a magic lamp while wandering around doing Animal Crossing stuff. Inside is Wisp, the ghost who’s appeared in previous games. Running into him reminded me a lot of stumbling into D-Dog in Metal Gear Solid V, which is not a game I expected to be reminded of while playing Animal Crossing.
You take the lamp, with Wisp inside, back to your house. I stuck him up in my bedroom. When you rub the lamp, Wisp comes out but says that he can only stay in this form for a short time and needs an Amiibo to posses. That’s kind of weird. But, tapping an Amiibo will cause him to become that character. From there, you can ask that character to visit you or ask for an item. I asked for an item once, and it didn’t seem too interesting, but I suppose I should do some more research on that. Typically, I ask the character to come play, which causes them to show up in an RV in the new campsite area.
I haven’t mentioned the campsite yet, huh? Well, that’s the other big addition. On the far East side of my town (and I assume everyone else’s) there’s now a path that leads to a completely new area. There, you’ll meet Harvey, a dog who’s kind of a hippy and runs the campsite. He has a couple items for sale, but doesn’t charge bells for them. Instead, he charges a brand new currency called Meow Coupons. More on those in a little bit.
Also, in the camp site is one or two RVs. There will always be at least one, and it will contain one of the special characters that appear in your town periodically, like Sahara the camel or Wendell the Walrus. The second RV appears as a result of tapping an Amiibo. If the Amiibo you tapped was an Animal Crossing Amiibo, that character will inhabit that RV. There’s actually a few non-Animal Crossing Amiibo that are compatible with the game, including the entire Splatoon series and the Legend of Zelda characters from the Smash Bros. series.
So, why do you want to check out these RVs anyway? Well, they all have items for sale that you can only get there. Tom Nook even sells a Wii U and New 3DS that you can play minigames on and the Zelda and Splatoon characters sell games from their respective games. I now have a room in my house decked out with all Legend of Zelda items. But like the items Harvey sells, you can only buy these with Meow coupons.
Getting Meow coupons is pretty easy and is actually a great addition to the game. You know have daily activities you can complete to earn Meow Coupons. They’re all things that you would probably be doing anyway, like making sure to collect money from hitting rocks. You get two of these activities every day, as well as two that last a week. Sometimes it’s a little annoying. In one case, I was supposed to buy an ax. Well, the Nook store wasn’t selling axes, so I was out of luck that day. You also earn coupons when you tap an Amiibo, but you can only do that once a day, preventing you from completely breaking the game.
That’s what’s new with the game, but most of my time has been spent just earning bells to finally finish buying all the house upgrades from Nook. Despite the fact that Animal Crossing: New Leaf is the 3DS game that I’ve put the most time into by a mile, there’s still a lot of upgrades that I haven’t earned. I finally got my last room added on, so now I’m working on making all my rooms bigger.
This means that every day, I’ve been taking at least an hour collecting fossils, hitting rocks, fishing, and bug catching. Going to the island at night seems to still be the best way to earn money quick. Every day, I’ve been trying to earn a minimum of 100,000 bells, and it’s really not that hard to do with all the sharks and valuable bugs that spawn on the island at night.
How long will this Animal Crossing addiction last? I’m not really sure, but with Final Fantasy XV’s release imminent, I have a feeling that I’ll be moving on fairly soon. But man, the fact that a game from four years ago can capture and hold on the my attention for this long is pretty incredible.
So, this was the first episode of my casual “what have I been playing?” series that I mentioned a little bit ago. It kind of turned into a full on write-up of the Animal Crossing update. Totally didn’t mean for that to happen. So, what do you think? Are you playing Animal Crossing again? Is the title of my new feature stupid? I almost went with “Quarter Circling Foward” but decided against it.
As I mentioned in the post I linked last paragraph, this isn’t a new weekly series. But while “Check-in” is on hiatus, you’ll get either this or something else at around the same time that series went up. I’m still not telling what the other things I’m going to post about are. You’ll just have to stay tuned to the blog to find out.